Government of Canada reappoints president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

News release

Professor Alejandro Adem will continue to provide strong leadership to Canada’s science and engineering community

May 29, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario 

Canada’s science and research sectors benefit from the Government of Canada’s support for visionaries, explorers and innovators. Working alongside universities, colleges and businesses, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) helps them find solutions to today’s global challenges and enables discoveries and innovations that advance knowledge and improve the lives of Canadians.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the reappointment of Professor Alejandro Adem as the president of NSERC for a five-year term, effective October 1, 2024.

Under his leadership since 2019, NSERC has played a key role in supporting research related to the Government of Canada’s priorities, including artificial intelligence, quantum innovation, research security, electric vehicles, critical minerals, Indigenous research and net-zero emissions targets. NSERC has experienced its highest-ever levels of research funding; implemented policies to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion across Canada’s research landscape; and overseen a significant expansion of international collaboration opportunities available to Canadian researchers and students. In his second term, Professor Adem will continue to support research excellence and innovative partnerships with private, public and not-for-profit organizations to strengthen Canada’s economy, society and future.

Professor Adem has been president of NSERC since October 2019. As a highly accomplished researcher in the field of mathematics and a faculty member at the University of British Columbia, Professor Adem has significant leadership experience in the Canadian research and innovation ecosystem. He was previously CEO and scientific director of Mitacs (2015–2019), where he oversaw a significant expansion of its domestic and international internship programs.

Professor Adem is currently Chair of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee and Chair of the Global Research Council’s Governing Board, and he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Human Frontier Science Program. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, a Fellow of the Canadian Mathematical Society and a Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences.


“Congratulations to Professor Adem on his reappointment as president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Under his leadership, NSERC made significant investments in research, researchers and trainees; increased equity, diversity and inclusion across Canada’s research community; and further developed international collaborations. His expertise and experience are valuable assets in our government’s ambitious plan for research and innovation in Canada.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“It has been a great honour to serve as president of NSERC since 2019, and I am delighted to be able to continue supporting the talented scientists and engineers who dedicate themselves to finding solutions, treatments and technologies that improve the lives of Canadians. Our country is home to some of the world’s most exciting research, and I will continue to work closely with researchers, students, key collaborators and valued partners to ensure that Canada’s research community remains innovative, impactful and inclusive.”

– Professor Alejandro Adem, FRSC, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • Through grants, fellowships and scholarships, NSERC promotes and supports research and research training in natural sciences and engineering to develop talent, generate discoveries and support innovations in pursuit of economic and social outcomes for Canadians.

  • NSERC’s Council is composed of the president and up to 18 other members appointed from the private and public sectors. The council collectively represents the academic research and private sector research and development communities in natural sciences and engineering, as well as other stakeholder groups in the Canadian research ecosystem. Its main responsibilities are to set the strategy and high-level direction for NSERC and to review and evaluate performance.

  • NSERC emphasizes the importance of collaboration and evidence-based decision making in Canada’s research ecosystem. It will continue to jointly administer many funding opportunities with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to maximize outcomes for Canadians.

  • NSERC will continue to work with research funding agencies globally, helping Canadian researchers establish international partnerships through Alliance International for a range of research across the natural sciences and in engineering, including a dedicated focus on quantum science and technology as part of NSERC’s commitment to support the Government of Canada’s National Quantum Strategy.

Associated links


Audrey Milette
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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